Maria is a 27 year old, final year student at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem and studying international law and human rights, and international relations. Maria comes from a Jewish family and grew up in Russia where her childhood was shaped by the hardships her father had to meet countering aggressive anti-Semitism, something which cost him his career and threatened his family’s future. Maria studied also in China, where she worked in business for many years before coming to Israel and experiencing for the first time a place where she felt she belonged, where she could feel at home.
Maria says she is an Israeli by choice, and she is fluent in Russian, Chinese, Hebrew and English, so she knows how to cross the barriers of language and culture that most would find difficult if not impossible. Maria wants to work in the field of Human Rights and one of the reasons she applied to NSL was to tell her story which is but one of over a million new stories of the Russian immigrants who have come to make Israel their home since the 1990′s.
In 2011, Maria teamed with NSL Palestinian classmate, Mustafa Alzayan at Peace Now and worked with The American Task Force on Palestine.